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Job hunt questions for upcoming grads

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Stitch, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    No, this isn't one of those posts that asks what I need to do to get a job after college. And no, I'm not in a situation where I've dreamt about being a sports writer all my life, but all I've really done is blog while watching SportsCenter.

    I'll be honest. I'm a little older than most upcoming grads because I worked in IT for several years without a degree and wanted a change in life, so I went back to school. That's not the point.

    I just wanted to start a thread where newbies can ask their questions and have them answered.

    One to start it off. How many small dailies or weeklies want an a prospective employer to fly out and interview on their own dime? I've had a couple of editors asking if I could fly across the country. Of course I don't have the cash to pay $400-500 for a flight, hotel, and rental car for any small paper that seems interested.

    Please post questions as well.
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Most of them. I wouldn't do it, because, to me, that's just the tip of the iceberg regarding a paper's cheapness. But there's not really a right answer as to what you should do. It's entirely up to you.
  3. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I've already tell editors that I can't pay my own way. I use the rationale of paying $400 a trip for no guarantee of a job.

    In my view, if a paper can't pay $1500 to fly three finalists in, there's no way I could do it.
  4. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    If they aren't going to fly you in, then they mind as well hire you over the phone. For a new grad, I doubt there is a job available where they will fly you in. That's only for some major jobs. I would never fly in on my own dime for a job interview. EVER! That's just not professional in my opinion.

    As for getting out of IT into journalism, I am working on reversing that. Go figure.
  5. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    I'll agree w/ the Good Doc -- I wouldn't make a habit of paying your own way unless you really, really want a job at that paper and know there are extenuating circumstances. If a paper won't fly/reimburse someone for interview travel, it could be a microcosm of how little they will spend down the road.

    My only other tip would be to be flexible. Don't lock into one area of the country unless you absolutely have to because of family, etc.
  6. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    One piece of advice which I would give to any grad looking is to e-mail your resume everywhere. I've kept in touch with editors that way, by their invitation, and hear about openings at sister papers.

    I'm not picky on where I want to end up. In fact, a few places I would love to go probably aren't on anyone top 40 of states to live.
  7. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Good lord. Go back to IT. That's where the steady jobs are.
  8. Agreed. Take the Microsoft classes and make some big money.
  9. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Agreed. It's a pretty accurate sign of cheapness if they can't even spare a dime to bring you in. Don't make a habit of, ahem, paying for the privilege of being interviewed. You're not going to want to keep that job for long, even if you get it.
  10. I've never paid for my own flight, nor would I.

    The closest I ever came was offering to eat the mileage on a three-hour drive while they paid for my hotel. Just seemed like the fair thing to do.
  11. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Yeah, I think I ate the hotel bill once because they paid for my rental car -- I still came out ahead, and it was the right thing to do. No biggie.
  12. spud

    spud Member

    Ok, here's one.

    How early is too early to apply? I'm sending stuff all over the place and have been for weeks now, but when should I start getting realistic about getting a response? I'm assuming most of these gigs are looking for someone to start in weeks, not months, and I won't be available for work until after Memorial Day. So while I certainly won't stop sending things out, when should I start expecting a place to seriously consider hiring me? In another month?
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